How to Build a Water FilterYear: 2015
Shows: V&A Digital Design Weekend 2016
Awards: Core 77 Speculative Concepts Runner-Up.
'How to Build a Water Filter' Youtube tutorial from the future reshapes our notions of nationality and citizenship, through a near-future microcosm, in which all water has become commodified.
The presented future is a saturated manifestation of corporate power and monetised citizenship, where policymaking has been outsourced to multinational companies. The project presents a reality where one’s financial status determines one’s water allowance. Tap water is accessible via dedicated national identity card extensions that come in Basic, Black and Gold versions.
A society where independent water filtering is proclaimed unsafe and therefore illegal, gives birth to water hacking. Convinced that natural resources should remain a universal human right, our water hacker has built a DIY water filter and published subversive instructional online tutorials, as well as useful tips for avoiding surveillance. Currently considered a tool for developing countries, in this future, a water filter has become a symbol of resistance for many.
The filter is built from everyday gardening materials, refurbished personal belongings, and several second-hand flea market acquisitions. The filtering mechanism consists of four steps: a slow sand filter, a silk filter, a short-range UV lamp for water sterilisation, and raw salts to re-mineralise the treated water.
Tangible, functional tools, designed for plausible future worlds, can provide a deeper understanding of the present, and help anticipate potential societal issues yet to come. For this reason, the project concludes with a Water Hacker’s Manifesto, a proclamation of author-signed, yet publicly accessible DIY templates.
Special thanks to Juliette Rambaud, Monika Steiger, Camille de Dieu, Manja Ciric, Dylan Perrenoud, Marina Khémis, Claire Vivarès, and Sergio Streun.
How to Build a Water FilterYear:
V&A Digital Design Weekend 2016
Core 77 Speculative Concepts Runner-Up.